Rochester Yellowjackets at Case Western Reserve Spartans
Saturday, September 10, 2011 - 7:00 p.m.
Case Field - Cleveland, Ohio
LIVE STREAMING VIDEO: http://tv.case.edu/athletics
(Dave Wilson, play-by-play; Ed Daugherty, color)
Download the complete Spartan Games Notes in .pdf format by clicking HERE.
The Case Western Reserve University Spartans open the home portion of their schedule versus the University of Rochester (N.Y.) on Saturday, September 10 at 7:00 p.m. at Case Field in Cleveland. The Spartans are 1-0 following last week's victory at John Carroll University and have an overall record of 40-5 since the beginning of the 2007 season. Rochester opens its season after finishing last year at 4-5 overall and 3-3 in the Liberty League.
The Spartans and Yellowjackets have met 17 times on the gridiron, with Rochester holding a 9-8 lead in the all-time series. Despite trailing in the series, CWRU has won three consecutive meetings, including a last-minute thriller at U of R last season. The first-ever meeting between the two schools resulted in a 34-19 Rochester victory at Case in 1990. That began a streak of six-straight Rochester wins as Case has now won eight of the past 11 meetings.
Case Western Reserve is coached by Greg Debeljak, who is in his eighth season in 2011 with a 53-22 (.707) record. Debeljak led the Spartans to three consecutive undefeated (10-0) regular seasons from 2007-09 with back-to-back-to-back NCAA postseason appearances and UAA titles. Since the beginning of the 2007 season, Case Western Reserve has posted an outstanding overall record of 40-5, earning Debeljak and his staff the UAA Coaching Staff of the Year award for three straight seasons (2007-09). In addition, Case has been ranked in the AFCA top 25 in each of the past four seasons (2007-10).
Rochester is coached by Scott Greene, who enters his sixth season as head coach with a 24-27 record (.471). As a player, Greene was a four-year letterwinner at Michigan State University and was selected by the Carolina Panthers in the sixth round of the 1996 NFL Draft. He also played for two seasons (1998-99) with the Indianapolis Colts and was the team's starting fullback.
The Spartans improved to 2-0 in 2010 and stretched their regular season win streak to 33 games with a thrilling 14-10 victory under the lights of Fauver Stadium on Saturday, September 11. Trailing 10-7 with 46 seconds left in the game, Joey Baum connected on a 17-yard touchdown pass to Zach Homyk to cap the game-winning 82-yard drive. For the game, Baum completed 27-of-36 passes for a then career-high of 347 yards. Defensively, current senior linebacker Jacob Adams (Cincinnati, Ohio/Princeton) posted 12.5 tackles and current junior Michael Fioramonti (Loxahatchee, Fla./Seminole Ridge) finished with 11. Rochester's Patrick Keegan completed 12-of-27 for 122 yards and Clarence Onyiriuka rushed for a game-high 119 yards on 23 carries.
SCOUTING THE SPARTANS
Through one game, the Spartans average 24 points, 229 yards rushing, 95 yards passing and 324 total yards per game. Case opponents average 17 ppg., 112 yards rushing, 275 yards passing and 387 total yards per game. The Spartans have a +1 turnover margin after checking in at +11 last season.
Offensively, junior quarterback Erik Olson (Bethel Park, Pa./Bethel Park) has completed 11-of-18 passes for 95 yards with one interception. Freshman running back Manny Sicre (Miami, Fla./Belen Jesuit Prep) has a team-high 172 yards on 16 carries (10.8 ypc) with a touchdown. Sophomore running back Kenny Riordan (Spring Grove, Ill./Richmond-Burton) has 79 yards rushing on 15 carries (5.3 ypc). Freshman wide receiver Sean Lapcevic (Presto, Pa./Chartiers Valley) has a team-high 39 yards receiving on three receptions. Senior wide out Brian Rice (New Castle, Pa./New Castle) has 30 yards on a pair of catches.
Defensively, senior linebacker Jacob Adams (Cincinnati, Ohio/Princeton) leads the team with 12 tackles and is one of four Spartans with a forced fumble. Junior safety Dan Calabrese (Concord, Ohio/Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin) has nine tackles. Junior linebacker Ryan Ferguson (Wheaton, Ill./St. Francis) has nine tackles, including two for loss, with an interception and fumble recovery for a touchdown. Junior safety Steven Roby (Howard, Ohio/St. Charles Prep) has six tackles with a team-high three pass break-ups.
SCOUTING THE YELLOWJACKETS
The Yellowjackets return 47 lettermen and 20 starters. Last season, Rochester averaged 19.2 points, 134.6 yards rushing, 171.1 yards passing and 305.7 total yards per game. U of R opponents averaged 24.6 points, 125.9 yards rushing, 208.1 yards passing and 334.0 total yards per game. The Yellowjackets had a -2 turnover ratio.
YELLOWJACKET RETURNING LEADERS
Offensively, senior QB Braezen Subick completed 68-of-106 passes (64.2%) for 679 yards and five TDs with two INTs. Junior RB Chris Lebano rushed for a team-high 338 yards on 76 carries (4.4 ypc) with three TDs. Senior RB Byron Saggese carried the ball a team-best 84 times for 327 yards. Senior tight end Thomas Norman was second on the squad with 31 catches and first with 372 yards and three TDs.
Defensively, the Yellowjackets return their top four tacklers from last season. Junior LB Brendan Pidgeon recorded a team-best 64.5 tackles, including 5.5 for loss, with 1.5 sacks, two interceptions and a forced fumble. Sophomore LB Tony Ortego had 40 tackles and a fumble recovery. Junior DB Kobie Hamm made 39.5 stops with a team-high five INTs. Senior DE Cainaan Webb had 32.5 tackles, including 8.0 for loss, to go along with a team-best 5.5 sacks, two INTs, a forced fumble and a blocked kick. Senior DE Chris Bickford made 31 tackles, including a team-high 11.5 for loss, with 2.5 sacks.
AN "ENGLISH" LESSON
Three-time All-UAA senior defensive tackle Dale English (Middleburg Heights, Ohio/Holy Name) has led the team in sacks and tackles for loss in each of the past two seasons. In 2010, he totaled 64 tackles, including 13 for loss, with nine sacks. The D3Football.com All-North Region selection also posted a stretch of seven straight games with at least a half-sack. Through one game in 2011, English has three tackles, including one for loss, with a pass break-up and two quarterback hurries.
MAKING A GOOD FIRST IMPRESSION
Freshman running back Manny Sicre (Miami, Fla./Belen Jesuit Prep) made a splash in his collegiate debut with 172 yards rushing on 16 carries (10.8 ypc). Sicre scored the Spartan's first TD of the season with a 75-yard dash in the second quarter at John Carroll.
NEED A HERO?
With starting hero Michael Fioramonti (Loxahatchee, Fla./Seminole Ridge) out with an injury during the John Carroll game, junior linebacker Ryan Ferguson (Wheaton, Ill./St. Francis) moved from his traditional inside linebacker spot and more than adequately filled in. Ferguson posted nine tackles, including two for loss, with an interception and fumble recovery for a touchdown -- all career-bests.
A win versus Rochester would be the 100th home victory in the history of CWRU football. Overall, the Spartans have a home record of 99-103-1, that includes a mark of 25-10 in six seasons at Case Field.
The number of consecutive regular season victories that Case Western Reserve posted from November 4, 2006 until October 30, 2010.
At halftime of the Case-Rochester game, the CWRU Athletic Department will honor 2011 graduate Chad Mullins (Fredericksburg, Ohio/Waynedale), who was named an American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) All-American and the D3Baseball.com National Player of the Year this past spring.